April showers bring May flowers, Mayflowers bring pilgrims, and May itself brings the start of Summer Blockbuster Season, that baffling mixture of excitement and predictable, four-quadrant committeethink. As we touch base at the beginning of this season, I’ll discuss the films that have me stoked for this month (both big and small), talk about a few pieces I have in the works, and generally lay out the plans of Plot and Theme. Not too complicated, but it should at least be fun.
Looking back, I find it interesting that the films enjoyed the most from April were not the ones I thought they would be. I thought Free Fire was going to be an awesome romp, and it ended up being boring. I didn’t even care enough to see The Circle once the buzz started chewing it up (I prefer my hate-watching to be in the comfort of my own home with a cocktail or several).
That being said, I saw my absolute favorite movie of the year (so far): Your Name. The review I wrote for that piece was an enjoyable write as well, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already. The other movie that I ended up enjoying a great deal was The Lost City of Z. Though nowhere near a good as Your Name., there is a distinct possibility that Z ends up somewhere on my Top 10 List for the first half of the year (which, in a testament to the enduring passage of time, I will have to write at the end of next month).
Other posts. You may have noticed I have been reblogging a bunch of my work that first posted over at CinemaAxis.com. The head honcho over there, Courtney Small, was kind enough to give me eight screeners from the Hot Docs Film Festival, the largest documentary-only film festival in North America. I got some quality docs this year (I did last year, too), and really enjoyed watching them all. Hop on over to CinemaAxis and see if anything catches your fancy.
My longtime readers will notice that I finally, FINALLY completed my piece on Paul Greengrass’s United 93, an essay that I was talking about for almost two full years. Other essays included my deconstruction of why The Terminator is the best film of that franchise, and of course my fourth entry into the filmography of Stanley Kubrick with my Lolita piece. This month is a doozy: Dr. Strangelove. I’m at least a little scared.
Other things you should look forward to: I have three flicks that I could review right now: Free Fire, The Lost City of Z, and Miss Sloane. Two of these movies were quite sub-par, and it isn’t super-fun to just bitch about poor execution (despite how often I do that), but they may be worth writing anyway. As for the May releases, I have my ticket for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for tomorrow. There’s obviously a strong buzz around it, and hot takes are flying all over the place on account of the myriad international releases of the film, so I am excited to experience it for myself. I am much more apprehensive about Alien Covenant. I mean, what could go wrong with another CGI-fueled addition to a beloved science fiction franchise? I have zero interest in the King Arthur movie, the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, or the latest Amy Schumer vehicle. This one’s called Snatched, and it is about kidnapping two women while they’re on vacation. Get it? (Snatch means vagina).
This is already getting a bit long, so I’ll wrap it up here. Thanks for your continued readership, and all of the Like-button clicking you do! If I work super-hard, there is an outside chance that one of my last posts of the month with be post #300! (That’s an exclamation point, not a factorial; I have not written over five-hundred orders of magnitude more posts that there are atoms in the universe. Yet.)